Northeast Lower Peninsula
Two chutes were open at the dam. Anglers have caught smallmouth bass, rock bass and walleye when bottom bouncing or drifting worms. The walleye were 15 to 17 inches.
Anglers are catching lake trout, steelhead, Chinook and pink salmon, walleye and the occasional Atlantic or coho when fishing throughout the water column in 70 to 120 feet using downriggers, lead core, copper and dipsey divers with spoons. Hot colors were green, blue, black and white, orange, purple and glow early or late. A few more Chinook were coming in very early or very late. Baitfish are being marked both shallow and out deep.
It continues to produce the same species in 50 to 130 feet with the same colored spoons. A lot of baitfish were marked in 30 to 70 feet and most appear to be smelt about 3-inches long, so match your baits to them.
Those targeting salmon and trout caught a mixed bag of lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon, walleye and the occasional coho when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 80 to 160 feet off Thunder Bay Island and the Nordmeer Wreck. Anglers found walleye, channel cats and freshwater drum when trolling or casting spoons, crankbaits and a crawler harness. Evenings were best. Walleye were also found suspended in deeper water outside the bay.
Thunder Bay River
Anglers caught smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, rock bass and the occasional channel cat when drifting or floating crawlers.
Anglers caught lake trout, steelhead, pink salmon, walleye, coho and the occasional Atlantic or whitefish. Most were trolling spoons and spin-glo’s with or without attractors in 80 to 180 feet between Three Mile Park and Au Sable Point. Spoons were most effective. Lake trout were scattered throughout the water column and most of the silver fish were 20 to 70 feet down.
Walleye were slow; however, some were found shallower and others were taken by those trolling crankbaits or harnesses. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum, rock bass and smallmouth bass when still fishing, floating or drifting crawlers. The odd walleye was caught on crankbaits in the evening.
Au Sable River
Anglers caught freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, rock bass and a couple small perch with crawlers in the lower stretch of the river. A few northern pike and smallmouth bass were caught by those casting spinners and crankbaits in the deeper holes and near cover. Water temperatures below Mio were above 70 degrees and approaching 80 degrees below Foote Dam.
Walleye were caught in the East Bay when trolling a purple harness with a crawler or leeches. A couple crappie were caught near the south DNR Launch but not in big numbers. Bluegills were hitting red worms and wax worms along the weed beds. Those fishing near the Reedsburg Dam caught a few bluegill, smallmouth bass, perch, crappie and pike.
There was good walleye action off Tawas Point and south towards Alabaster with crawlers, crankbaits and spoons in 50 to 70 feet plus.
Fishing was slow at Gateway Park, with only a couple catfish and freshwater drum caught on crawlers.
Walleye fishing was fair as anglers were spending a lot of time locating active fish. Boat anglers were heading north toward the Charity Islands and south to Eagle Bay with crawlers, crankbaits and spoons in 35 to 45 feet. Fish were also found straight out from the river mouth and north towards the bell buoy. A few incidental perch were also caught.